Archive for Thursday, December 2, 2004

Quarry, neighbor told to get along

December 2, 2004


Douglas County residents and Hunt Midwest Globe Quarry operation officials were told to work together to resolve their differences Wednesday night.

The County Commission made the decision after hearing almost an hour's worth of testimony from the Coffman family, who have a farm at 646 N. 100 Road, and another area resident. The quarry is on County Road 1029 near the Douglas-Franklin county line.

The Coffman family asked Douglas County commissioners to regulate all quarries in the county through a home-rule resolution. The proposed regulations dealt with public health and safety and addressed issues such as air quality, fencing, operation times and blasting.

After discussing the matter, commissioners asked the Coffman family and other people in the area to try to work with the quarry officials at this time.

"Sometimes our job is to make everybody really mad," Commission Chairman Charles Jones said. "I think all civil measures need to be used first."

The County Commission can't regulate the quarry through zoning because it was in operation before the county adopted zoning regulations in 1966.

Brother and sister Hurst Coffman and Gerry Coffman said they found large rocks on their property that they suspected came from the quarry. Gerry Coffman, who has lived in the home on the family farm for about two years, said the house shook when there was blasting at the quarry and that she couldn't work outside at times because of the dust and fumes from the quarry.

Gerry Coffman said she hadn't called and complained because when she complained about noxious weeds at the quarry, officials with Hunt Midwest did a poor job of dealing with the problem.

Tim Spear, superintendent of Kansas portables for Hunt Midwest, said the company had tried to deal with the weeds. He also said he wasn't aware of the issues being brought up by the Coffman family.

"I'm willing to assume that everyone here is telling the truth," said Commissioner Bob Johnson. "But I'm not willing to get into a neighborhood squabble."

He said that he wouldn't support any regulatory action unless there was documented evidence that a person or a group wasn't a good neighbor.

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